On way to the metro station I counted all of my coins, and prepared myself with the exact right change for the ticket machine before I arrived.
I put my coins in the machine, a mixture of dimes, quarters and nickles, and when all the coins had entered the machine it claimed I still owed 25c. This made me mad, as I had pre-counted my coins. I knew I had put them all in. I waited for a moment thinking that perhaps the machine was just slow in counting, and I hadn’t noticed because I was putting in a bunch of coins and not paying too close attention as they added up, but after a few moments I was convinced now that the machine thought I owed another 25c.
Now I beat myself up for being so fucking stupid as to forgetting this, as I’d just ridden the metro a couple of days earlier and had made a big deal to myself over thinking it was $1.25 only to find out it was $1.50 and how mistakes like that completely undo the good work of pre-checking change rations.
Now I imagined what would have happened had I verbalized my complaint that the machine had missed registering my 25c only for someone to pull out security footage proving that I'd only put in $1.25 and then just how fucking humiliated I'd be learning it was $1.50 and trying to defend myself saying 'it was $1.25 when I used to ride all the time, so I am not a complete moron' but knowing even I couldn’t defend that argument because I had travelled on the metro two days earlier and had made a mental note to not forget that it was now $1.50 and come to think of it am I really sure it was ever $1.25? Actually no. Man what a fucking fool of myself I would have made had I complained which I would never have done because I never do complain just in case it ends up that I was in the wrong and would look like an idiot.
This made me flash back to New Zealand ten years ago when for only the second time ever, I honked my car horn. A man made an illegal move on some road nearly crashing into me as I drove my rental car to the airport to fly home and an accident now would have caused me who knows how much hassle. So I honked him.
About two years later I was reading a story on driving trips in New Zealand in an Australian newspaper and it mentioned something extremely alarming. There was a particular driving law that in New Zealand is the opposite of what it is in Australia, which has been known to cause accidents when Australians drive in New Zealand or vice versa. I didn’t remember that exact situation which took place when I had honked my horn in New Zealand, but now I suddenly thought ‘oh my god, that time I honked my horn in New Zealand, maybe it was in fact ME that was in the wrong and therefore not only did I nearly cause an accident but I honked my horn in anger even though I was in the wrong! Holy fuck, what a fucking asshole that would have made me!’
Feeling like shit, I go to pull out the extra quarter I need to pay for my ticket. This isn’t as easy as it seems, because now I have to re-count all of my coins to make sure I still have change for the ride home, now needing 25c more than I thought I was going to need, and yet possessing 25c less than I had on my original count. Low and behold, I now no longer had enough change for the ride home.
I caught the train and got on with my afternoon, and only four or five times did I think about the 25c fiasco again over the next couple of hours.